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Safe Bamboo Swords 



Make] Projects 

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Safe Bamboo Swords 



Written By: David Battino 



j TOOLS: 


PARTS: 


• Knife (W 


• Poled) 


to trim foam 


about 1 " in diameter by 6' lona 


SawM) 


• Foam (1) 


to cut bamboo 


The kind with a slit alona one side is 


• Taped) 


best. 



SUMMARY 

At an outdoor festival, my sons and I saw a group of teens play-fighting with padded swords. 
That looked like a lot of fun, so we tried making our own. It was remarkably easy and 
inexpensive — each sword costs about $4. 



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Safe Bamboo Swords 



Step 1 — Cut the bamboo (if desired). 




• Six-foot swords are great, but we 
also made two 3-footers. 



Step 2 — Wrap it in foam. 




• Squeeze the foam around the pole, 
leaving about 12" uncovered for the 
handle. Allow the foam to extend 
1"-2" beyond the other end of the 
pole so the tip is padded. 



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Safe Bamboo Swords 



Step 3 — Add duct tape for strength. 




• The foam we chose has adhesive 
along the slit, but a few wraps of 
duct tape every foot or so will 
ensure that it doesn't split open. 
Some people wrap the whole thing 
in duct tape. Covering the handle 
with duct tape is also an option. 



Step 4 — Use it. 






We battle using Monty Python's "Black Knight" rules: a chop to your opponent's arm or leg 
disables it; keep fighting until one of you has no limbs left. In the photo, Sir Christopher 
has lost both legs and King Toma has lost an arm. 

It's great, silly fun to fight while hopping on one leg or gripping the sword between your 
knees because you've lost both arms. Plus, the low mass of the poles and the thick 
padding make sparring fairly safe. 



This project first appeared in MAKE Volume 21 , 



This document was last generated on 201 2-1 1 -03 01 :29:33 AM. 



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